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This article is about the resort municipality. For the ski resort operation see Whistler Blackcomb.
Resort Municipality of Whistler
—  Resort Municipality  —
Whistler Panorama

Logo
Location of Whistler within the Squamish-Lillooet District in British Columbia, Canada
Coordinates: 50°7′15″N 122°57′16″W / 50.12083°N 122.95444°W / 50.12083; -122.95444
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Region Sea to Sky Country
Regional District Squamish-Lillooet
Settled 1914 by Myrtle and Alex Philip
Incorporated 1975
Government
 - Mayor Ken Melamed
 - Manager Bill Barratt
 - Governing body Whistler Town Council
 - MP John Weston
 - MLA Joan McIntyre
Area
 - Total 161.72 km2 (62.4 sq mi)
Elevation 670 m (2,198 ft)
Population (2006)
 - Total 9,248
 Density 55/km2 (142.4/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
Postal code span V0N
Website Whistler.ca
Flag of Canada.svg
Street signs in Whistler Village.

Whistler is a Canadian resort town in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in the province of British Columbia, Canada, approximately 125 kilometres (78 mi) north of Vancouver. Incorporated as the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), it has a permanent population of approximately 9,965, plus a larger but rotating "transient" population of workers, typically younger people from beyond BC, notably from Australia and Europe.

Over two million people visit Whistler annually, primarily for alpine skiing and mountain biking at Whistler-Blackcomb. Its pedestrian village has won numerous design awards and Whistler has been voted among the top destinations in North America by major ski magazines since the mid-1990s. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler hosted most of the alpine, nordic, luge, skeleton, and bobsled events, though freestyle skiing and all snowboarding events were hosted at Cypress Mountain near Vancouver.

Contents

History

The Whistler valley, which is formed by the pass between the headwaters of the Green River and the upper-middle reaches of the Cheakamus, and is flanked by glaciated mountains on both sides, the Garibaldi Ranges on the side that contains the ski mountains, and a group of ranges with no collective name but which are part of the larger Pacific Ranges and are essentially fore-ranges of the Pemberton Icefield. Although there are a few other routes through the maze of mountains between the basin of the Lillooet River just east, the Cheakamus-Green divide is the lowest and most direct and naturally was the main trading route of the Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations long before the arrival of Europeans. One Lil'wat legend of the Great Flood says that before the deluge, the people lived at Green Lake,[1]

The first British survey by the Royal Navy took place in the 1860s[2]. These surveyors named the mountain London Mountain because of the heavy fog and cloud typically gathering around the mountain, but the area informally acquired the name "whistler" due to the call of the indigenous hoary marmot[3]. In the late 19th century, a trail was cut through the valley linking Lillooet via Pemberton with Burrard Inlet via a pass from Squamish to the Seymour River. The trail was completed in 1877, but because of the difficult and unforgiving terrain, it was only used once for its intended purpose, which was to drive cattle. The area began to attract trappers and prospectors (such as John Millar and Henry Horstman) who established small camps in the area in the early 20th century. The area began to gain recognition with the arrival of Myrtle and Alex Philip, who in 1914 purchased 10 acres (4 ha) of land on Alta Lake and established the Rainbow Lodge. The Philips had relocated from Maine to Vancouver in 1910, and had heard rumors of the natural beauty of the area from Pemberton pioneer John Millar. After an exploratory journey, the couple was convinced. Rainbow Lodge and other railway-dependent tourist resorts were collectively known as Alta Lake. They became part of Canada's first "Resort Municipality" in 1975.

The completion of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway in 1914 greatly reduced the travel time from three days, providing ease of access from Vancouver, and the Rainbow Lodge gained a reputation as the most popular vacation destination west of the Rockies.[citation needed] The lodge was primarily a summer destination, with boating, fishing and hiking among the most popular activities, and soon other lodges began to open not just on Alta Lake, but on other valley lakes as well.

Appreciation of the outdoors was not the only activity in the valley, however; logging was also a boom industry, and during the first half of the 20th century, most of the lower slopes of the surrounding mountains were cleared of old growth. At its peak, four mills were in operation, most located around Green Lake. Prospecting and trapping were pursued as well, though no claims of great value were ever staked.

Until the 1960s, this quiet area was without basic infrastructure; there were no sewage facilities, water, or electricity, and no road from Squamish or Vancouver. In 1962, four Vancouver businessmen began to explore the area with the intent of building a ski resort and bidding for the 1968 Winter Olympics. Garibaldi Lift Company was formed, shares were sold, and in 1966, Whistler Mountain opened to the public.

Later, the city was offered the 1976 Winter Olympics after selected host Denver declined the games due to funding issues. Whistler declined as well, after elections brought in a local government less enthusiastic about the Olympics. The 1976 Winter Olympics were ultimately held in Innsbruck, Austria.

2010 Winter Olympic

A statue of Ilanaaq, mascot of the 2010 Olympics, located on Whistler Mountain
Whistler in late summer

Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, the first time the IOC has bestowed that designation on a community. Whistler hosted the alpine technical and speed events, the sliding events at Fitzsimmons Creek, the Nordic events in the nearby Callaghan Valley and all the Paralympic events except the opening ceremonies, sledge hockey and wheelchair curling. The Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Village (commonly referred to as the Athlete's village) housed around 2,400 athletes, coaches, trainers and officials. Post-games, the site will be turned into a new residential neighbourhood.

Bears

Whistler's urban landscape was specifically designed to accommodate the natural environment,[citation needed] as well as to remediate a large garbage dump which became today's Whistler Village which had been one of the main non-natural feeding grounds for black bear in the valley. Since the resort's development, black bear populations have gradually recovered, coupled with the loss of pines due to multi-year drought conditions, bears have begun seeking food in settled areas. Many of Whistler's bears have learned to do things like open car doors or hold spring-closed gates open so they can reach food. Most are relatively docile and few bear-human incidents have been reported. Whistler residents are strongly conservationist, and the official response has relied heavily on behavior modification for both bears and people. Removal or killing are last resorts. The techniques being used have been studied and adopted by other municipalities with bear problems around the world .[4]

Transportation

Whistler is located on British Columbia Highway 99, also known as the "Sea-to-Sky highway", approximately 58 kilometres (36 mi) north of Squamish, and 125 km (76 mi) from Vancouver. The highway connects Whistler to the British Columbia Interior via Pemberton-Mount Currie to Lillooet and connections beyond to the Trans-Canada and Cariboo Highways.

Elite-class rail service only is provided between the Whistler railway station and North Vancouver by the Whistler Mountaineer. Regular passenger schedules are no longer available. Rail service through to Jasper is provided by the Rocky Mountaineer, using Canadian National Railway tracks from North Vancouver via Whistler and Prince George. The station for tour passengers embarking from Whistler is in the Southside area, between Nita and Alpha Lakes.

Local bus transit service is provided by the Whistler and Valley Express, which also provides service to Squamish and Pemberton.

Local aviation is served by the Whistler/Green Lake Water Aerodrome, which has service to several cities in the province.

The main airport that most Whistler residents tourists use is the Vancouver International Airport, located 140 km south.

Climate

Whistler experiences cool wet winters, and dry warm summers. On average Whistler receives approximately 11 days with temperatures over 30 °C (86 °F), and approximately 24 days on average with temperatures falling below -10 °C (14 °F).[5]

Climate data for Whistler
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 9
(48)
14
(57)
20
(68)
28
(82)
36
(97)
35
(95)
38
(100)
36
(97)
35
(95)
27
(81)
14
(57)
9
(48)
38
(100)
Average high °C (°F) 0
(32)
3
(37)
7
(45)
12
(54)
16
(61)
19
(66)
23
(73)
24
(75)
19
(66)
11
(52)
3
(37)
-1
(30)
12
(54)
Average low °C (°F) -6
(21)
-4
(25)
-3
(27)
0
(32)
4
(39)
7
(45)
9
(48)
9
(48)
5
(41)
2
(36)
-2
(28)
-6
(21)
1
(34)
Record low °C (°F) -28
(-18)
-24
(-11)
-19
(-2)
-8
(18)
-3
(27)
-1
(30)
0
(32)
0
(32)
-3
(27)
-14
(7)
-24
(-11)
-29
(-20)
-29
(-20)
Precipitation mm (inches) 157
(6.18)
120
(4.72)
96
(3.78)
75
(2.95)
66
(2.6)
58
(2.28)
48
(1.89)
48
(1.89)
64
(2.52)
147
(5.79)
188
(7.4)
162
(6.38)
1,181
(46.5)
Source: Environment Canada[6] 2009-07-09

Media

Newspapers

Whistler has two regular print news media, Pique Newsmagazine and the Whistler Question. Both of these are published every Thursday.

Radio

Call sign Frequency Owner Format
CFTW-FM 088.7 FM Four Senses Entertainment tourist information
CFMI-FM-1 090.7 FM Corus Entertainment Classic rock (repeater of CFMI-FM, Vancouver)
CFOX-FM-1 0092.3 FM Corus Entertainment Active rock (repeater of CFOX-FM, Vancouver)
CKLG-FM-1 0096.9 FM Rogers Communications Adult hits (repeater of CKLG-FM, Vancouver)
CBYW-FM 00100.1 FM CBC CBC Radio One (repeater of CBU, Vancouver)
future station 0101.5 FM Four Senses Entertainment to be Hot Adult Contemporary
CISW-FM 0102.1 FM Rogers Communications Hot Adult Contemporary (repeater of CISQ-FM, Squamish)
CBUF-FM-10 00103.1 FM Radio-Canada Première Chaîne (French) (repeater of CBUF-FM, Vancouver)

Television

Whistler has no locally originated aerial stations. The only aerial television available are repeaters of CBUT (CBUWT channel 13), CHAN-TV (CHAN-TV-7 channel 9), CKVU-TV (CJWM-TV channel 21) and CHEK-TV (CHWM-TV-1 channel 18).

Cable television service is served by Shaw Communications, which offer most stations from the Vancouver area.

Gallery

Notes

  • The Windows XP codename "Whistler" is named after this community
  • The Windows Vista codename "Longhorn" is named after the Longhorn Saloon, a bar at the base of Whistler Mountain. Country Dick Montana died at his drumset in this bar in 1995.
  • The television show Whistler takes place in Whistler, B.C.
  • The television series Peak Season is filmed in Whistler and documents the lives of people that live there.

See also

References

External links


Coordinates: 50°7′15″N 122°57′16″W / 50.12083°N 122.95444°W / 50.12083; -122.95444








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